The House of Bread
The unexpected beauty of a Madonna and her Child.
The Madonna and Child is in a corner of a very old parish church in a small quite town, in an out of the way part of the world. Outside, the church of St. Michael and All Angels is surrounded by three centuries of faithful souls. Only a few reached old age, many not even thirty. All those infants that didn't even get to be named. Mother's giving birth. Cholera and tuberculosis epidemics. Famine years.
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After wandering among them all, it's startling to come inside and find such an arresting image of a mother cradling her child, a mosaic consisting of 160 slices of toast, carefully composed by the artist Adam Shelton over six months.
Bread, he said, is in the Hebrew root of Bethlehem. “It is the house of bread, giver of life.”
The bread will grow more translucent as it ages. It will fade and eventually fall apart. In a quiet corner of a very old parish church, in an out of the way part of the world at a time when life is being taken every day.